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Garlic Lime Chicken Tenders with Fiesta Rice

About this time every winter, I find myself craving light, vibrant food reminiscent of the warm days of summer. What better time to cook such a meal than on a snow day?!? I can't think of one. So today I made a quick and simple lunch full of flavor, colors, and textures. This quick and easy meal can easily be made in large quantities, however, this recipe is written to serve two. This is just the taste of summer I needed to pull me from the winter frostbite! And for those of you still working on those New Year's Resolutions (you know who you are), this is full of flavor and vitamins but low on fat; you can even up the fiber content even more by using brown rice (plan to up the cooking time). It's like a Caribbean vacation on your plate!

For the Chicken:
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
Pinch Ground Black Pepper
1 Clove Garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Package Fresh Chicken Breast Tenders (typically 8 tenders)

For the Rice:
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Chopped Yellow Onion
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Pinch Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup White Rice
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tablespoons Canned Whole Kernel Corn
2 Tablespoons Fresh Tomato, chopped

1. Combine all the ingredients for the chicken, except the oil and chicken, in a small, shallow dish. Using a whisk, slowly add the oil to the lime mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously until combined. Add the chicken tenders and set aside for 5 minutes at room temperature.
NOTE: This is a quick marinade. Because of the acidic juice of the lime, longer marinading will actually begin to cook the meat.
2. While the chicken is marinading, melt the butter in the bottom of a saucepan. Add the chopped yellow onion, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to become transparent. Add the rice to the pot, stirring to coat in the butter. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Once the rice is cooking, heat a grill pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken tenders to the pan. Allow to cook for 5 minutes on the first side without moving. This will allow for searing of the meat. If you feel the meat is cooking too fast, simply turn the heat down on the grill pan. When the chicken appears to be cooked halfway through, turn over and allow to cook another 5 minutes or until cooked through (juices are clear) and golden brown.
4. When the rice is cooked, add the black beans, corn, and tomato. Stir to combine and allow to heat through for 2 minutes.
5. Serve the chicken over a bed of rice and ENJOY!


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